Inspired by Frances Perkins’ legacy, the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle is rising to the challenges of our time. Each time she faced difficulty, Perkins, ever a problem solver, would not merely carry on — she forged ahead. In that spirit, the organization hopes you’ll join them as they transform the traditional August garden party in Maine to a virtual event.

The event will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, on YouTube at or or search for “Frances Perkins Center” on YouTube.

The event will celebrate and applaud:

Connected brick house, ells and barn: The Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark in Newcastle. Photo courtesy of Frances Perkins Center

• A Major Milestone: 2020 marks the Frances Perkins Center’s ownership of the historic 1837 Brick House — a National Historic Landmark — that was Frances’ ancestral home. From the comfort of your home, plan to join us on a virtual tour through the home that Frances cherished and meander through the beautiful gardens and surrounding 57-acre saltwater farm where she found respite surrounded by nature.

Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University Professor Emerita and past president of the Society of American Historians, 2020 FPC Intelligence and Courage Award Honoree. Photo courtesy of Frances Perkins Center

• 2020 Intelligence and Courage Award Honoree Alice Kessler-Harris: Columbia University Professor Emerita and past president of the Society of American Historians, Kessler-Harris will present a compelling portrait of Frances’ role in reshaping the role of government as Americans faced the Great Depression. “What would Frances do?” has never been a more timely question as the coronavirus represents the greatest, most widespread threat to workers and economic security since the Depression. Solutions she forged then, including unemployment insurance, are the underpinnings of the safety net we’re relying on in this current crisis.

• 2020 Open Door Award Honorees — the founders of the Frances Perkins Center: Seven Lincoln County Maine citizens who recognized the need to honor and preserve the legacy of the woman behind the New Deal who believed that, “The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.” Founders include Frances Perkins’ grandson Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall; Mount Holyoke College trustee Elizabeth Allen; former senior vice present of Coastal Enterprises Inc. Carla Dickstein, Ph.D.; landscape design architect Christopher Rice; the Honorable Leah Sprague; former professor of Economics and Women’s and Gender Studies Susan Feiner, Ph.D.; and the late labor organizer Gretel Porter.

For more information, call 207-563-3374, email [email protected], or visit